Thursday, October 18, 2018

NVIDIA SHIELD adds new features with Google Home

The NVIDIA SHIELD remains perhaps the most updated Android device in history, with NVIDIA continually adding new features to the now over 3-year-old streaming box.

With the free Google Home Mini deal running for the SHIELD at the moment, it isn’t surprising to see further integrations arrive between the two. The latest update allows you to use any Google Home device to launch and control streaming apps on your SHIELD, like Netflix, HBO NOW, CBS, and Starz. You can jump straight into a specific show on any of those streaming apps just by saying “Ok Google, watch [Name of show] on SHIELD.”

Any app on your SHIELD can be simply launched using your voice by saying “OK Google, open [Name of app].” You will still need the remote to actually select something there, but it’ll get things going a bit faster as you track down the remote. If you lost the remote mid-show you can now pause and resume playback in any app as well as controlling the system volume and turning off the SHIELD completely.

Here’s a list of some of the new features available on SHIELD via Google Home this month. Just restart your SHIELD TV and the update should arrive for your device.

Basic Commands

  • “Turn on SHIELD”
  • “Turn off SHIELD”
  • “Open [name of app] on SHIELD”

Volume Control

  • “Set volume to 50% on SHIELD”
  • “Increase/decrease volume on SHIELD”
  • “Mute/unmute volume on SHIELD”

Playback Features

  • “Play [name of Netflix, HBO NOW, CBS, Viki, or Starz show] on SHIELD”
  • “Play [name of song] on [name of app] on SHIELD”
  • “Watch [name of channel] on YouTube TV on SHIELD”
  • “Pause on SHIELD”
  • “Play on SHIELD”

Photos and Smart Home

  • “Show me my pictures from Egypt on SHIELD”
  • “Show me my pictures from last weekend on SHIELD”
  • “Dim the lights”
  • “Set the temperature to 72 degrees”

It’s hard to argue with the SHIELD TV as the best Android streaming box available, even 3 years later, thanks to NVIDIA’s continued commitment to the platform.

source: androidandme
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Sony updates its planned rollout of Android Pie for some devices

Back in August, Sony announced which of its devices will be getting updated to Android 9 Pie, and now it’s back with another update on the matter.

We already know that the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact have been updated to Android Pie, which is a good start. Sony’s announcement today is meant to share some good news: Other devices are going to be getting updated early. That starts with Friday, October 26, when the Xperia XZ Premium, XZ1, and XZ1 Compact will be updated to Android Pie.

The XZ2 Premium will follow with an Android Pie update on November 7. Looking beyond that, on March 4, the Sony Xperia XA2 Plus, XA2 Ultra, and the XA2 will be updated to Android Pie. So good news all around.

Do you own one of these handsets? If so, are you looking forward to the Android Pie update?

source: androidandme
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OnePlus 6T may work on Verizon’s network

According to sources speaking to PCMag, the OnePlus 6T may be compatible with Verizon’s network, making it the manufacturer’s first device to achieve the feat. Previously, all OnePlus devices have only been compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks, even though OnePlus smartphones haven’t been sold through carrier channels. While OnePlus is reportedly working on a partnership with T-Mobile, compatibility with Verizon opens an even wider door.

Verizon is the largest carrier in the U.S. by a long shot. But the carrier’s old 2G CDMA network is incompatible with OnePlus devices, which run on GSM and LTE networks. While that would have posed an issue in the past, Verizon’s comprehensive LTE coverage has changed things. As such, Verizon recently started allowing LTE-only devices on its network. From what PCMag has heard, the OnePlus 6T will be an LTE-only device on Verizon with compatibility for LTE Band 13, Verizon’s key band.

The compatibility hinges on whether the device can be certified by Verizon. If the OnePlus 6T doesn’t receive certification, it could perform poorly on Verizon’s network, with connectivity going haywire after network software updates. The good news is that Verizon is reportedly hard at work on establishing certification for the OnePlus 6T.

While this wouldn’t get the OnePlus 6T into carrier stores, it would open up a large pool of customers for OnePlus. Additionally, it would offer a high-end, reasonably priced smartphone to Verizon users.

Verizon customers, what do you think? Would you purchase the OnePlus 6T if it was compatible with Verizon’s network?

source: androidandme
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Google Pixel 3 gets a teardown treatment, shows off LG-made display

Last year’s Google Pixel 2 XL suffered from some display issues that many would call quite series. From “poor” colors to terrible viewing angles, people were quite vocal about their disappointment. Many pegged this on LG being the display supplier.

The new Pixel 3 XL was torn down by iFixit, revealing a Samsung-made display. This was a relief to a lot of prospective Pixel buyers as Samsung is known for its beautiful OLED displays. However, iFixit also performed some surgery on the smaller Pixel 3 and found an LG display. This is the opposite arrangement as last year.

Fret not, for the display on the Pixel 3 is said to be quite good! LG must have worked out the kinks in its supply chain. Manufacturing quality may be a concern for some, but image quality should not be.

source: androidandme
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Google boasts Titan M security chip in Pixel 3

Google’s Pixel 3 has a lot to brag about, but Google is currently talking up the Titan M security chip embedded within the device. The Titan M Chip integrates deep security at the hardware level, starting with the bootloader. Here, Titan M works with the bootloader to verify that you’re running the newest, safest version of Android. This prevents malicious software from moving your device back to older, more vulnerable versions during booting.

Titan M also limits the amount of logon attempts with your passcode, helping to prevent malicious decryption. Importantly, Titan M works with third-party apps to generate and store keys. In line with this, Titan M enables Protected Confirmation, a new set of APIs in Android 9.0 Pie that protects critical processes. Protected Confirmation is key in protecting P2P payments, e-voting, and more.

On top of all that, Titan M’s firmware can’t be updated or changed until the user’s passcode is successfully entered. This prevents attackers from changing the security firmware without first unlocking your device.

You can read more about Titan M at the source link below. What are your thoughts on Google’s proactive approach to security?

source: androidandme
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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

RED Hydrogen One specs revealed

RED is best known for its high-end video cameras, but the company is tiptoeing into the smartphone game. The RED Hydrogen One has been confirmed, but the manufacturer has been slow to release details. Now, most of its specs have been revealed in a leaked infographic.

Notably, the RED Hydrogen One will feature a 5.7-inch 2560×1440 2D and H4V holographic LCD display. The device will also feature dual 12.3-megapixel rear cameras and dual 8.3-megapixel front cameras that are capable of recording H4V holographic video that can be viewed on the device.

Other specs include 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, 4500mAh battery, “deep cavity” front-facing speakers, and pogo connectors for expansion modules. The body is made of aluminum and kevlar, with a titanium version on the way.

Pre-orders are now shipping out, but this detail of the device’s specs should give potential buyers an idea of what to expect.

What are your thoughts on the Hydrogen One? Are you interested in this unique device?

source: androidandme
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Essential reportedly lays off around 30 percent of its staff

One week after we heard that Essential may be working on a new AI-focused smartphone, some bad news has come out from Andy Rubin’s company.

Essential has cut approximately 30 percent of its staff, sources have told Bloomberg. Most of the layoffs reportedly happened in Essential’s hardware and sales divisions. An Essential spokesperson confirmed that some cuts were made but didn’t offer any other info:

“This has been a difficult decision to make. We are very sorry for the impact on our colleagues who are leaving the company and are doing everything we can to help them with their future careers. We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game changing consumer product.”

Things haven’t been going super smoothly for Essential lately, with the company said to have cancelled its Essential Phone follow-up while it also paused work on its smart speaker device. Additionally, rumors said that Andy Rubin had put Essential up for sale, but no other info on that matter ever came out.

Most recently, a rumor claimed that Essential is working on a new phone with a major focus on AI. The device will reportedly be able to respond to emails and text messages and book appointments on its own, and it’s said to have a small screen to push you to interact more with your voice. Essential reportedly hopes to have a prototype of this phone ready by the end of 2018 so that it can show the device to industry partners at CES 2019 in January.

source: androidandme
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